Trump used an approach straight out of liberal icon Saul Alinsky’s playbook to deal with Kim Jong Un. Alinsky wrote, “Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.” The tactic was used effectively against conservatives over 50 years ago and, apparently, it still works today.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un (KJU), otherwise known as “Rocket man”, has invited President Trump for talks and Trump has accepted. This unprecedented summit will likely take place in May. Donald Trump will become the first US President to meet with a North Korean leader.
On Thursday night, Trump tweeted:
“Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean representative, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain in effect until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2018
Fox News reported the news.
What led KJU to issue this invitation? Obviously, North Korea is feeling the effects of US economic sanctions. However, KJU has often faced world criticism and harsh sanctions. What is different this time? What prompted KJU to take the astonishing step of inviting Trump to the negotiating table? Three previous US Presidential administrations, over nearly 25 years, have spun their wheels as North Korea has achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear power.
Trump’s use of ridicule in dealing with KJU has made the difference. His provocative public remarks have appeared to yield results. Trump has been unwilling to show respect for Kim. In much the same way that ignoring a beautiful woman will capture her attention, Trump’s refusal to fear Kim has captured his attention.
The press criticized Trump for referring to Kim as “Rocket man” and for his infamous tweet, which read,
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works."
At the time, Democrats and the mainstream media were in their usual state of righteous indignation over Trump’s lack of diplomacy toward KJU and warned that his behavior might trigger a nuclear war.
Interestingly, Trump’s use of ridicule concerning KJU comes right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Alinsky was a highly respected (by the left) 1950’s and 60’s-era community organizer, liberal icon and activist. Rule #5 states that,
"Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” Liberals employ this “weapon” every day in their treatment of Trump and many other conservatives."
Perhaps ridicule is the only language KJU understands and Trump was pretty smart and pretty bold to use it. KJU wants to be feared and to be taken seriously. He likely sees himself as the master of the universe. After all, he has nukes. Is there anything that could have captured Kim’s attention more effectively than ridicule?
From the Clinton Administration’s “Agreed Framework” through the Obama Administration’s “strategic patience”, US policy toward North Korea’s nuclear program has failed spectacularly. It has also enriched the regime and allowed them time to obtain a nuclear weapon.
A Brief History:
In 1994, North Korea announced their decision to withdraw from the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). President Clinton had considered a:
“US military strike on the Yongbyon nuclear reactor. He was advised that if war broke out, it could cost 52,000 US and 490,000 South Korean military casualties in the first three months, as well as a large number of civilian casualties.”
Clinton sent former President Jimmy Carter to North Korea to find a diplomatic solution to the problem. Clinton’s foreign policy team put together an agreement, which incorporated much of what Carter had discussed with the North Koreans, called the “Agreed Framework”. Clinton insisted this was not a treaty because a treaty would have required the ratification of the Republican-controlled Senate (1995). The document called for North Korea to freeze and dismantle their nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would ensure their compliance with the agreement.
“An international consortium planned to replace the North’s plutonium reactor with two light-water reactors. In the meantime, the United States would supply the North with 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil every year to make up for the theoretical loss of the reactor while the new ones were built.”
“North Korea’s program was clearly created to churn out nuclear weapons; the reactor at Yongbyon was not connected to the power grid and appeared only designed to produce plutonium, a key ingredient for nuclear weapons. The theory of the deal was that, with the plant shuttered and the plutonium under the close watch of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), North Korea would not be able to produce a bomb. There were also vague references in the text to improving relations and commerce.”
Following the agreement, North Korea escalated its production and exportation of missile technology. For the remainder of the Clinton years, endless diplomatic efforts were initiated, economic sanctions were imposed and then lifted and ceaseless demands (bribes really) by the North Koreans for more US aid were made. No progress was made and in 2001, George W. Bush took office and decided to craft his own North Korea policy. His efforts proved to be no more effective than Clinton’s.
(Of course, shortly after Bush took office, the 9/11 attacks occurred followed by the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War.)
At any rate, diplomatic relations began on the wrong note between the Bush Administration and Pyongyang. Bush told reporters that he
“look[s] forward to, at some point in the future, having a dialogue with the North Koreans, but that any negotiation would require complete verification of the terms of a potential agreement.”
Secretary of State Colin Powell then clarified a previous comment by stating that:
“If there was some suggestion that imminent negotiations are about to begin—that is not the case.”
The North Koreans took offense and called the tone in Washington “hostile.” It seems to me they were searching for something to offend them as an “excuse” to escape the constraints of the Clinton Administration’s Agreed Framework.
“Pyongyang threatens to “take thousand-fold revenge” on the United States “and its black-hearted intention to torpedo the dialogue between north and south [Korea].”…Pyongyang remains “fully prepared for both dialogue and war.”
By the end of 2002, North Korea had kicked the IAEA out of the country, which the agency condemned “in the strongest terms.”
The Bush Administration’s policy was similar to Clinton’s, the only difference being that North Korea was thought to have enough nuclear material for a weapon by the end of 2002. Their missile technology had also become dramatically more sophisticated. These two factors increased their leverage at the negotiating table.
Obama’s policy of “strategic patience” brought nothing new into relations with the North Koreans. If anything, they became more brazen about their nuclear program, testing weapons openly.
The North Koreans have well learned how to buy time (and receive economic rewards) by playing a game of cat and mouse with the International Community. They have deceived the world for 25 years and no US president has been able to put an end to their nuclear program. Maybe Donald Trump, the “Madman”, will be able to make some progress.
For those interested in reading a detailed timeline of North Korea’s nuclear weapon history, please click here.
An enormous backlash from the left has followed Trump’s acceptance of Kim’s invitation to meet. No surprise there. They would have criticized Trump if he had declined as well. Please see the video below for a round-up of media reaction to the news.
In addition to the standard criticism that a meeting with a US President will offer KJU the legitimacy on the world stage that he craves, there have been several interesting new ones.
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Friday that Trump agreed to the meeting with Kim Jong Un to distract from the Stormy Daniels story just as he announced the steel tariffs to distract from the Hope Hicks story last week. His co-anchor and wife Mika agreed. “Yes, he does have that pattern.” Words escape me!
North Korea expert Victor Cha believes that if the talks fail, it will take us “closer to war.”
“Finally, everyone should be aware that this dramatic act of diplomacy by these two unusual leaders, who love flair and drama, may also take us closer to war. Failed negotiations at the summit level leave all parties with no other recourse for diplomacy. In which case, as Mr. Trump has said, we really will have “run out of road” on North Korea.”
Donald Trump is not stupid. He recognizes North Korea’s long history of manipulation and deceit. He also understands the consequences of failure. As President, he has plenty of foreign policy experts to supplement his lack of foreign policy experience. KJU has requested a meeting now. If Trump were to decline, this opportunity may not present itself again. Worst case, the can gets kicked down the road just as it has by the previous three US Presidents. However, he very well may be on the road to a huge foreign policy success to add to an already enviable record of accomplishments. The left knows this and it’s tying them up in knots.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.